Quiet Now, God’s Calling – Synchroblog
This post is part of a global Synchroblog on the (hefty) topic of “God’s Choice in Using the Foolish and Our Understanding of Calling.” Be sure to check out the list of other writers at the end of this post, as each will have a unique spin on this topic. If you’d like to participate in Synchroblogs like this one, let me know and I’ll direct you to the bunch.
It has been written that God talks through donkeys and stuttering old men, through thundering clouds and through bushes that refuse to burn. He even talks through naked prophets who made his metaphoric pronouncements out of burnt poop. Last week I was sure he was talking to me through my new iMac. It seems he would just like to get our attention, please.
When we are quiet enough to listen, God talks. He calls. It’d be easy to think that God has a bias for talking through the most unsuspecting. He seems to really like the things that others would call “foolish.” (Those bleeding-heart PC users, for instance, would call an iMac a foolish thing for God to talk through.)
My understanding of my own “calling” has taken on new and strange forms, you might say. Two years ago, I was a missionary in Portugal, ready to continue on to be a church-planter in Italy. I had to travel from Europe to California for a two-week intensive at Fuller. Right in the middle of my readiness for Italy, a homeless man in Union Station intercepted me. Dressed in rags, with his right toe showing through, he seemed unsuspecting as ever.
He was a burning-bush type sign. The road pirouetted for me all around the words God talked through him that night, doubtly-confirming all sorts of secret things I’d thought God had already whispered to me.
His name was Lance. He needed dinner, and I needed dinner, so we shared a cheap meal as I waited for my train to Santa Barbara. Without my telling him much of anything at all about my life, he began telling me a whole lot about my life. He quoted mouthfulls of word-for-word Scripture (from the King James Authorized version, no less), as I squinted and smiled in amazement. God was talking to me through Lance, the hungry homeless man.
Lance’s forehead dripped with sweat as he talked. He even forgot to eat his pastrami sandwich until the very end.
From that night on, I slowly began to understand that my “calling” and vocation was taking new shape, and it still is to this day. I was moving from full-time paid ministry in Portugal into a place of preparation and study for a future in Italy, where I hope that my “ministry” will simply be my life, and where God will pay me in his unsuspecting ways. (He’s proved very good at that, up till now.)
It meant me making choices that seemed foolish. I do not have answers for people who ask, “How long will you be in California?” or, “When will you go back to Europe?” I really do not know.
But I will try my best to listen well to the one who calls out to us in the most foolish ways. And wait.
(Photo by Next train to Ulan Bator?)
Other Synchrobloggers wax-smart on the Topic:
My Foolish Calling by Lisa Borden
The Power of Paradox by Julie Clawson
That Darn Ego by Jonathan Brink
Won’t Get Fooled Again by Alan Knox
Foolish Heart by Erin Word
A Fool’s Choice by Cindy Harvey
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right… by Mike Bursell
Ship of Fools by David Fisher
Hut Burning for God by Father Gregory
God Used This Fool by Cobus van Wyngaard
Blessed are the foolish — foolish are the blessed by Steve Hayes
Fool if you think its over Paul Walker
Strength on the Margins by Adam Gonnerman
What a Fool I’ve Been by Reba
Sonja at Ravine of Light
Phil at Square No More
And Sally at Sally’s Journey